The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Thomson Sport - one of the UK’s leading Sports Tour Operators - have agreed a multi-year partnership that makes the travel company the Official Presenting Partner of NBA Games - London 2011 and the NBA’s Official European Fan Travel Partner.
As Official European Fan Travel Partner, Thomson Sport will offer fans exclusive travel packages to the NBA’s first ever regular-season games in Europe, as well as future games played on the continent. NBA Games - London 2011, presented by Thomson Sport, will feature the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors facing off at The O2 in London on March 4 and 5, 2011. Packages are available via www.thomsonsport.com/nba and start from £59 per person.
Thomson Sport will also offer packages for European fans to attend NBA games in the US and Canada, and will have the opportunity to offer travel packages for fans in the United States to attend NBA games played in Europe.
“We are delighted that one of our sport businesses, Thomson Sport, has been named the NBA’s Official European Fan Travel Partner and look forward to making basketball more accessible to its large European fan base,” said Claire Brand, Director, Rights Activation, TUI Travel PLC’s Sport Division. “It is particularly exciting to be involved in the NBA’s first regular-season games in Europe and believe our unrivalled knowledge and experience across our Sport Division will provide the NBA and its fans with exceptional service.”
As presenting partner of NBA Games - London 2011, Thomson Sport will support NBA Basketball Week, a week-long series of basketball events that will take place across the UK from Feb. 25 to March 5, culminating in the NBA Fan Zone, a dedicated interactive fan event taking place in London to coincide with the Nets versus Raptors games.
“Our first-ever regular-season games in Europe are a milestone for the NBA, and Thomson Sport is an ideal partner to present this showcase of our game,” said Senior Vice President of NBA Europe Sophie Goldschmidt. “From these two historic games to the comprehensive series of NBA Basketball Week events, Thomson Sport will play an important role in supporting this celebration of basketball and helping to deliver an authentic NBA experience for fans across the UK.”
In addition to package rights, Thomson Sport will receive prominent brand exposure around the games held at The O2 in March, as well as on NBA.com, where the company will present a new editorial feature highlighting its travel offerings.
The NBA has staged a total of 13 regular-season games in Japan and Mexico since 1990, and London has hosted eight games featuring 10 NBA teams since 1993 as part of preseason friendlies.
Thomson Sport was also the official travel partner of the inaugural WSDE Sport Tourism Expo, held in Johannesburg during the FIFA 201 World Cup. WSDE Sport Tourism Expo is the only annual exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing the $600 billion a year sport tourism industry. This year’s event will be held in Bangkok, Thailand - Asia’s Sport Tourism Gateway - from 27-29 September 2011.